#20 — A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish
Let’s talk about goals. Why have goals for anything? Why not let things just happen? Well, IMO if you want to achieve shit, you gotta have a plan. After I took up running (or jogging in my case), my goal was to run a marathon. Check! When I played tennis, my goal was to win “the plate” (most wins in a season at my level). Check! Now that I’m “doing” CrossFit, my goal, naturally, is to compete at the highest level – The World CrossFit Games. Why not? I think this is possible for me in 2022, when I would be in the 60+ age category. 3ish years from now.
To achieve this goal, it will take all of that time and, honestly, might not ever happen even with the most rigorous, dedicated workout schedule, nutrition, and everything I else it would take. But if I don’t even have the goal in the first place, then for sure it won’t happen. I think having a big goal helps you have daily, weekly, quarterly and annual purpose. “SMART” goals resonates with me. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based Goals. All pretty self-explanatory.
Immediately, my weekly goal is to do CrossFit five days a week. My daily goal at those workouts is to LISTEN very carefully to the coaches. I also get to class about 15-20 minutes before the class begins to watch the class before me. I am a visual learner, and by watching other athletes, I learn – even by those doing the movement incorrectly, I learn. Well, I also like to stretch a bit, and socialize even more, but I am watching. The best days are when I get there while my husband is still working out. He works out with other “Games level” Masters so he’s not in a class. I love to watch him! I especially like when he’s still there when my class starts. Don’t tell him, but I perform even better when I think he’s watching me.
After I realized I wanted to commit to this goal of the CrossFit Games in 2022, I started a spreadsheet with most of the CrossFit movements down the left, and weights and dates of PRs (Personal Record) across the top. In the right column, I have my goal for the end of the calendar year for each movement – with help from my husband. In the far, far right columns, I did something unusual but super helpful to me. I put the weights for each movement for the current female winner at the CrossFit Games in the 55-59 age category, and the same for the top woman in the 60+ category. This tells me what is POSSIBLE and where I need to be to compete at the highest level.
As I put in my PR weights and dates (and it happens a lot at the beginning), it moves me incrementally closer to those top women. It may be discouraging for some but I need to know where the finish line is – although by the time I get there, the finish line will very likely be moved even further out but that’s for another day. These are my long-term goals.
For my mid term goals, I want to at least be able to perform each movement prescribe for women my age at the CrossFit Open, which happens for 5 weeks in February/March. This means first knowing which movements were in the workouts earlier this year. Another spreadsheet gets created. This one has the movements in the far left column and a column for check marks. At this point, there is no point in goals or knowing what the top women did. I just want to be able to perform the workouts. In 2020, I will add a goal of where I think I should place.
Earlier this year, there were approximately 3,500 women in 55-59 age category who had a score in all five workouts. There were approximately 2,100 in 60+ age category. This is worldwide! A lot of strong women I need to beat!
Now that I know which movements were expected of women in my age range earlier this year (and likely next year), I can work on movements I don’t have – for now!
FUN FACT: I love the quote by C.S. Lewis: You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.